“It’s blatantly Marilyn Monroe,” Jenny Packham said of her Spring muse. “She’s been there all my life, but I’ve rediscovered her again.” The designer took her research quite seriously this season, poring over images, visiting Monroe’s bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, even traveling to Jersey to glimpse a private collection of Monroe’s dresses. “She’s still so relevant,” said Packham. “What she wore doesn’t date.”
While Monroe’s influence could certainly be felt, there were no white halter necks in the lineup. Instead, Packham designed mid-calf wiggle dresses in fuchsia and azure blue, the latter topped with a chocolate brown bed jacket. Packham deals primarily in gowns, and this season’s were often cut close to the body, like a red bugle-beaded strapless number or a pink column with a sweetheart neckline, beaded with palms meant to mimic the Beverly Hills Hotel’s famous wallpaper.
The palms showed up again on a print that more directly referenced the wallpaper. Packham used it to cover a ball gown, and it looked a little too busy. On the other hand, a long-sleeve boatneck gown in gold lamé offered just enough shimmer. It felt very Marilyn.